Never mind The Tiger Who Came to Tea: what about the giraffe who came to breakfast? When you stay at Giraffe Manor in Nairobi, characters familiar from the page of a children’s book come to life, walk across the lawns, and stick their heads through the windows to steal your croissants. You have been warned!
There’s nowhere quite like Giraffe Manor. This iconic 1930s mansion, modelled on a colonial Scottish lodge, is set within 12 acres of private land in suburban Nairobi. The house boasts a stately facade covered in creepers, verdant gardens, and terraces where you’ll want to sit out and take tea. Many guests describe the property as like something from Out of Africa; we’re definitely inclined to agree.
But the real attraction, of course, is not the building but the herd of Rothschild’s giraffe which live in the grounds. The giraffe are officially resident in the forest sanctuary next door, but they consider the lawns of Giraffe Manor their back garden and stroll regularly through in hope of getting snacks. The hotel staff and guests indulge this behaviour, so you are guaranteed up close sightings.
If you want to learn about the giraffe - which we highly recommend - then take a guided walk straight from the hotel into the giraffe sanctuary. In a couple of hours you’ll find out all manner of fascinating facts about giraffe behaviour, conservation issues, and the personalities of individual giraffe who live here, direct from the people who care for them. Assuming that your interest in wildlife extends beyond giraffe to other East African species, we also suggest you pay a visit to the nearby David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust to meet the orphaned elephant they care for.
Accommodation at Giraffe Manor is in one of 12 beautifully presented rooms and suites. Families can spread out with space to spare in the two-story Karen Blixen Suite, which has a spiral staircase, a private terrace, and several items of furniture which did actually belong to the Hollywood star after whom the suite is named. We also love the four-poster bed in the Edd Superior Room, which has a corner bath, outdoor veranda and private bar, too. The giraffe have a tendency to “visit” certain rooms, so remember to keep your windows shut if you don’t want a long-necked guest to stick his head inside!
Guests at Giraffe Manor stay on a full board basis and a wide selection of drinks are included. Head Chef David Kisevu will take you on a culinary journey filled with fresh and seasonal local produce, and he also makes the most wonderful cakes. The giraffe will be thrilled if you remember to pick up a handful of pellets for them as well.
The ideal length of stay at Giraffe Manor is two to three nights: you will have time for the full, immersive experience. On the basis that you will be spending longer than this in Kenya, it’s perfect to combine your stay with a safari in the Maasai Mara, or walking with rhino at Saruni Rhino. There are so many incredible ways to interact with the country’s remarkable wildlife: speak to one of our Journeysmiths today on 01604 637 332 and let them both inspire you and narrow down the options which are right for you.